Sustained neural activity to gaze and emotion perception in dynamic social scenes

Ulloa, Jose Luis; Puce, Aina; Hugueville, Laurent; George, Nathalie


To understand social interactions, we must decode dynamic social cues from seen faces. Here, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study the neural responses underlying the perception of emotional expressions and gaze direction changes as depicted in an interaction between two agents. Subjects viewed displays of paired faces that first established a social scenario of gazing at each other (mutual attention) or gazing laterally together (deviated group attention) and then dynamically displayed either an angry or happy facial expression. The initial gaze change elicited a significantly larger M170 under the deviated than the mutual attention scenario. At around 400 ms after the dynamic emotion onset, responses at posterior MEG sensors differentiated between emotions, and between 1000 and 2200 ms, left posterior sensors were additionally modulated by social scenario. Moreover, activity on right anterior sensors showed both an early and prolonged interaction between emotion and social scenario. These results suggest that activity in right anterior sensors reflects an early integration of emotion and social attention, while posterior activity first differentiated between emotions only, supporting the view of a dual route for emotion processing. Altogether, our data demonstrate that both transient and sustained neurophysiological responses underlie social processing when observing interactions between others.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000336488300012 Not found in local WOS DB
Volumen: 9
Número: 3
Editorial: Oxford University Press
Fecha de publicación: 2014
Página de inicio: 350
Página final: 357


Notas: ISI